How Long Does it Take to Get A Personal Injury Settlement Check
July 24, 2022 | Personal Injury
Personal injury settlement checks are not processed until you reach a settlement with the insurance company or at-fault party. After that, it could take several weeks to receive your money for a personal injury claim.
Unfortunately, some personal injury cases take longer to settle. That means it could take more than a year for the injured party to receive compensation for their monetary losses, pain, and suffering. The facts and circumstances of your personal injury case directly impact the timeline for a personal injury settlement.
What Is a Personal Injury Settlement?
Personal injuries refer to harm caused by another person. Claims include injuries related to car accidents, defective products, slip and fall accidents, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other accidents and incidents.
Under Pennsylvania tort laws, an injured party can seek compensation for injuries and damages caused by another party’s negligence, intentional acts, or other wrongdoing.
A personal injury settlement is a monetary amount that compensates you for these losses. Generally, the at-fault party does not admit responsibility for causing your injury. However, to settle the dispute related to fault and liability, they agree to pay you an amount to settle the claim.
The compensation you might receive includes economic damages such as:
- Medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of income
- Nursing care
- Diminished earning capacity
- Personal care and household services
Additionally, you could receive compensation for your non-economic damages. These damages represent your pain and suffering, including physical, emotional, and mental suffering. It also includes a decrease in your quality of life and permanent impairments.
How Long Does It Take To Get My Settlement Check for a Personal Injury Claim?
The timeline for your personal injury case depends on the factors unique to your case. Before you can sign the settlement documents and release forms, there are some steps that you and your lawyer must complete.
Basic steps in a personal injury case include:
- Accident investigation to gather evidence proving the other party caused your injury
- Identifying insurance coverage and filing insurance claims
- Waiting for you to recover from your injuries
- Collecting evidence to document injuries and damages
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
Several factors can lengthen the timeline for a personal injury settlement.
For example, severe and catastrophic injuries take longer to recover from after an accident. We do not want to settle your claim before you reach maximum medical improvement (complete your treatment plan). Settling a personal injury claim before your doctor releases you from care could result in a much lower settlement amount.
Disputes regarding causation and fault can also increase the time it takes to settle a personal injury claim. The need to hire medical experts, financial professionals, accident reconstructionists, and other expert witnesses to prove fault or damages can also take longer.
You want to consider all relevant factors before agreeing to a settlement offer, including:
- The length of your recovery
- The cost of your medical care
- The income you lost because of the injury
- The type and severity of your injury
- Whether you sustained permanent impairments or disabilities
- Your long-term diagnosis and need for continued medical treatments and personal care
- The pain and suffering you experienced in the past and what you may experience in the future
The goal is to get your money for a personal injury claim as quickly as possible. However, you do not want to rush to settlement if it means less money in your pocket.
What Happens After I Agree To a Personal Injury Settlement?
When you settle your case, several steps must be taken before you can receive a personal injury settlement check. Those steps include:
Signing a Settlement Agreement and Release
Your attorney and the insurance company work to prepare a settlement agreement and release. The agreement releases all parties from any further liability for the claim. In other words, you cannot sue any party for more money even if you discover additional damages.
Therefore, consult a personal injury lawyer before signing a settlement agreement or release form. Ask your lawyer about any terms in the settlement agreement you do not understand.
The Insurance Company Issues a Check
Generally, an insurance company issues the settlement check within a few days after receiving the signed settlement agreement. However, it could take a couple of weeks for your lawyer to receive the check.
Your Lawyer Receives the Check and Pays Liens and Medical Bills
The law firm deposits the check and holds the funds in trust while the check clears the bank. Once the funds are available, your lawyer must pay any medical liens, outstanding medical bills, and subrogation claims from the settlement proceeds.
Your lawyer also deducts the agreed-upon attorneys’ fee and any costs of the case from the settlement proceeds. Most injury lawyers agree to a contingency fee agreement. Therefore, the attorneys’ fee is a percentage of the settlement amount.
You Receive Your Check from Your Personal Injury Lawyer
After your personal injury attorney deducts liens, fees, and costs from the settlement proceeds, they issue a settlement check to you. The process of receiving a settlement check for a personal injury claim can take a few months or more than a year. Discuss your case with a personal injury lawyer during a free consultation to learn how the facts of your case impact the timeline for a personal injury settlement.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers In Pennsylvania at Marzzacco Niven & Associates For Legal Help With Your Case Today
Harrisburg Law Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
Wyomissing Law Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610